Sunday, April 28, 2013

Expecto Extremis

Well, it's been a while since my last post - the last three weeks have been intense to say the least...

Mid-April marks not only my birthday, but also my wife's birthday and our wedding anniversary, so we always try to get a week off together to celebrate. This year was no exception, and we did lots of cool stuff...

On my birthday we went to see Trance, the most recent film by Danny Boyle. I must admit, I'm not a huge Boyle fan, but the trailer intrigued me and the talk of it being the new Inception really made me keen to see it.

We were not disappointed. It's one of those movies that (a) you really want to watch again to see the first half knowing what happens at the end, and (b) you can't really talk about without spoiling the whole film. But, you get the gist of it from the trailer. James McAvoy's character helps Vincent Cassel's gang to steal a painting, suffers a head injury and can't remember where he's hidden the painting. They hire a hypnotherapist (Rosario Dawson) to help him remember, but there's always going to be more to it than that. His memories have been altered, and we recap events as he slowly uncovers what actually happened, each time filling more and more detail.

It was an excellent movie, and I'd highly recommend seeing it if you get chance. We'll certainly be picking up the BluRay when it comes out. The soundtrack is fantastic too, an excellent bit of background music to write to!


The huge model of Hogwarts at the WB Studio Tour
To celebrate my wife's birthday (and our wedding anniversary) we did what all dedicated Harry Potter fans should do - we went to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour at Leavesden. The actual studios where they filmed the Harry Potter movies have been turned into an exhibition where you can walk around the sets, see the actual props from the movies, and experience the movie magic first-hand.

From the amazing entry to the Great Hall in Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, through the massive studio tour, to the vast and dangerous shop, the whole experience is absolutely amazing. They tell you on the website that you can expect the tour to last about three hours, but after five and a half hours of looking around we still felt like we could have spent longer.

Okay, so it helps if you're massive Harry Potter fans like we are (I must admit, I thought more people would have dressed up for it, but my wife and our friend Alix seemed to be the only ones in Hogwarts school uniform on the day) but I honestly can't recommend the experience enough.
Me about to go into the Headmaster's Office.
Debs (left) and Alix (right) at Honeydukes!

Diagon Alley! So amazing!

The model of Hogwarts. Those are people in the front! It's HUGE!
When we finally left, we all decided we had to go back. We're already planning a return trip it was THAT cool. 


The day after that excitement, we returned to London to attend the preview screening of Iron Man 3 at the Odeon Leicester Square. The preview screening was introduced by the writer/director (Shane Black) and co-writer (Drew Pearce), who were keen to see their two years' worth of hard work to finally get shown on the big screen in front of an eager audience. 

Of course, as expected, the film was excellent. You can read my reviews both for Forces of Geek and for the UK's SyFy Channel site


And then, after all that, it was back to the day-job for a lovely 10-day stretch... 

Tomorrow is my first day off for a bit, so I'm going to sleep, recover, and then get back on the horse. I've been so slack with the writing recently, so distracted by the little things, I'm determined to get back to it. 

Anyway, I'm going to hit the sack. It's research for the game, honest!

Until next time, stay multi-classy!

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